Photography Hosting Strife

I realized with disgust that, having written a post about photography, I was more obligated than ever to find a picture to attach to this post. This is a totally random shot I got from the PayPal X Innovate conference, currently available on my Flickr account.

I take pictures. Normally, I process them, and stash them away on hard drives, only to post a few select shots some weeks later. But lately people have been wanting me to take pictures and put them up for public viewing post haste. Facebook is utterly unmentionable, that goes without saying; butchering photos with a sickening amount of compression and resizing to 614px on the long side. I have a Flickr account (it feels way cleaner and more respectable than DeviantArt), but I really dislike Flickr’s interface when it comes to sets (and the “All Sizes”/sizing thing is horrid). SmugMug is better but still not that good for my purposes. Flickr has a nice community and clean, if not very usable, interface. I just feel bad using it for an all-purpose photodump.

So I’ve been thinking about starting to use Picasa Web as my photodump for large sets of images. To me, Picasa feels pretty amateur, but at least others can easily navigate forward/backward, zoom-in, do other NORMAL things. I have frequently had to show others how to do this stuff with Flickr. What solutions have you all found? Anyone else run into the angst of diluting their portfolio with obligatory images? Does my Flickr portfolio/Picasa photodump solution sound sound?

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4 responses to “Photography Hosting Strife

  1. Wow, my feelings exactly. I had been using flickr for a bit, but it was mostly worthless until the slideshow feature came out. Now it’s only somewhat worthless because the slideshow sucks compared to album browsing in facebook.

    SmugMug looks like the best of both worlds. What about it doesn’t fit for you?

  2. Because their logo is Comic Sans.

    I’ve already paid for Flickr, and I do like the community and the potential power in Sets/Collections/Galleries. Another con I forgot to mention is that Flickr is now behind the Yahoo login system, which is another ugly thing. A lot of people don’t have Yahoo accounts and (understandably) don’t want to make one, so it makes commenting hassleful for them.

    Oh and going back to SmugMug price, $40 for basic service is a bit excessive in this age of storage technology.

  3. I use Flickr and Smugmug.

    Flickr, because of the community and the reasonable price. When I started, it was the so-to-speak “bees’ knees” and provided unlimited hosting. I still like it because I know it’s the best way for my family (also Flickr users) to find and see my photos. Flickr as a whole seems to have started to go downhill because of some mismanagement and overzealous moderators, but whatever – it hasn’t really affected me.

    Smugmug because they used to have an *amazing* deal, where if you developed an app using their API, they’d give you a free (whatever level you wanted) account for life. So Nate and I made an app. Now I have a pro account over there allowing me to (clunkily, but improving) customize everything about the experience. When I shoot an event, I use Smugmug to pass out the URL to people and let them buy prints. Smugmug also has *the best* support I’ve ever seen. I email them and then reply with a personal email and answer my question.

    The are other hosting sites, like Zenfolio, that you might like. Here’s a decent write-up: http://ronmart.blogspot.com/2009/05/professional-photography-web-hosting_16.html

  4. With SmugMug and Zenfolio, I might as well just run Gallery2 or whichever standalone photo hosting software is hot on the street. I have a server, and I have a Dreamhost account, both are viable places for me to host pictures. Except:

    I like that by keeping my photos on Flickr, people are that much closer to looking at them. I’m not sure what you guys do, but I get email digests of any photos uploaded by my contacts, and usually try to check out a good chunk of them. If I start taking photography more seriously, I’ll probably try SmugMug again.

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